What Is The Link Between Oral Health & Heart Disease?

What Is The Link Between Oral Health & Heart Disease?

Did you know that your oral health can greatly impact the entire body? Most patients are surprised to learn that their mouth can be a clear indicator of their overall heart health. Research indicates that there is a clear link between oral health and heart disease, so there is more reason now than ever before to get poor oral health under control. 

Here is what you need to know about the link between cardiovascular disease and the state of your mouth: 

Gum Disease and Heart Disease: Understanding the Link

The first consideration when it comes to the formation of heart disease is often whether you have healthy gums. Gum diseases (including gingivitis and periodontal disease) set the stage for heart disease. Why are these two conditions so inextricably linked? 

This has to do with the bacteria that cause gum disease in the first place. Oral bacteria travel through the mouth and into other parts of the body. It’s quite simple for bacteria to make the leap from your gums to your bloodstream, and because all blood flows through the heart at some point, bacteria can reach the heart and take up residence here. 

As bacteria cling to your blood vessels, this oral bacteria becomes a key indicator of cardiovascular disease. These clogged arteries can lead to other health complications such as heart attack and even stroke. 

Of course, this isn’t the only link between periodontal disease and heart disease. Some researchers are proving that it is inflammation in the body that leads to issues with the blood vessels. The body primes itself to fight back the infection, prompting anti-inflammatory responses that impact the heart. 

Risk Factors for Oral Health and Heart Disease

Many people know when they start to exhibit gum disease symptoms because they might experience a great deal of pain. Inflamed gums are red and swollen, sore to the touch, and may bleed when you are brushing. If you have bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth, these are signs of the early stages of gum disease. 

Advanced gum disease might even show up with pus around the gum line. 

Some people may not have the signs of inflammation caused by this bacteria. Does that mean you shouldn’t concern yourself with treating gum disease? 

Not at all! 

Instead, you should know that poor oral health can be a marker of your likelihood of developing gum disease in the future. Many cases are very preventable with good oral health habits like brushing and flossing. If you don’t allow plaque to build up on your teeth, you may be able to cut down your risk of gum disease altogether. 

Preventing Heart Disease With Good Oral Hygiene

What can you do to improve both your oral health and your heart health simultaneously? The issue for many people who struggle with this connection is poor oral health, which can easily be remedied in just a few minutes each day. 

If you can maintain good oral health, you may see your risk of coronary heart disease decrease and overall cardiovascular health increase. 

The best thing you can do is remember to brush twice a day with a soft-bristled brush and toothpaste recommended by your dentist. When finished brushing, you should floss daily and consider rinsing with mouthwash to kill any remaining bacteria and remove plaque and buildup. 

Don’t let your gum disease go undiagnosed or even unmanaged. You should contact your dentist as soon as possible to get any oral infections taken care of promptly before they can cause damage to your other body systems. Regular check-ups can pinpoint some of these issues early on. 

Reduce Your Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases

While there are certain things you can do at home on your own to minimize clogged arteries and other oral health problems that contribute to heart issues, don’t forget to visit your dentist. You should have routine check-ups twice each year to scale the teeth and remove as much plaque buildup as possible. 

Find a trusted dentist who can help you get gum health under control and minimize your risk of long-term issues with your heart health. 

At Fresh Dental, we want to equip you to have the best oral health and heart health you can have. We believe dental health is the cornerstone for a healthy life and can give you the best chance of success with modifiable risk factors. 

Reach out to our dental offices in Winnipeg today to book your professional cleanings!